Esplanade being given a spring-clean

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Sad reminder . . . Friends and siblings (from left) Lexie Smillie (4), Elza Burt (6) and Eli Smillie (6), of Dunedin, and Tommy (8) and Amy Cotter, of Wanaka, read the shark attack plaque at the Esplanade. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A “spring-clean” of the Esplanade at St Clair is under way.

Dunedin City Council transport delivery manager Josh von Pein said contractors began work to “refresh and maintain” the popular feature this week.

A start was made to drilling core holes in the sea wall on Tuesday to ensure it was in “good shape and sand is being retained effectively”, Mr von Pein said.

A camera was being inserted in the holes to check for gaps, he said.

If gaps were found, they would be grouted to maintain the wall’s condition and prevent issues such as slumping.

The work would focus on the north end of the wall and would be monitored by marine engineers. It would not affect access to the beach.

The wall’s stairs would be water-blasted before the end of this month to remove any slip hazards and planter boxes and garden beds would be replanted.

Maintenance on the handrails was scheduled for next month, he said.

The memorial plaque on the Esplanade for three men killed by sharks off Dunedin would be cleaned, he said. The council was investigating lifting the plaque off the ground.

The memorial is for Leslie Jordan, who was attacked by a shark off St Clair on February 5, 1964; Bill Black at St Kilda on March 9, 1967; and Graeme Hitt at Aramoana on September 15, 1968.

The installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Forbury and Victoria Rds and Bedford St has begun.

Council transport group manager Richard Saunders said its construction was expected to take “a couple of months” and cost about $400,000.